[Chimera-users] non-GUI use of Chimera

Charles Moad cmoad at indiana.edu
Tue May 25 11:59:57 PDT 2004

	I am working with Randy on this, and I think we have a web service type 
solution that will work using your suggestions.  The one problem that 
remains is killing chimera after a request.  The webdata facility is 
targeted to run on a client's machine where a user quits chimera, but we 
will be running it on the server.  I tried adding the 'stop' command at 
the end of the chimerax file, but I received an error from chimera and 
it continued to run.  Same story for 'sys.exit()'  Running the 
chimera_send script a second time only opens a new instance of chimera 
which also remains open.
	Is there a way to attach chimera_send to an existing process of 
chimera, or have chimera quit at the end of a chimera_send call?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: chimera-users-bounces at cgl.ucsf.edu
> [mailto:chimera-users-bounces at cgl.ucsf.edu] On Behalf Of Thomas Goddard
> Sent: Monday, May 24, 2004 6:20 PM
> To: heiland at indiana.edju
> Cc: chimera-users at cgl.ucsf.edu
> Subject: [Chimera-users] non-GUI use of Chimera
> Hi Randy,
>   If I understand correctly you want to be able to type some Chimera
> Python
> code or Chimera commands to a web browser, those get sent to the web
> server
> which sends them to Chimera running on the web server machine.  Then you
> capture the Chimera image and send it back to the web browser.
>   I believe this can be done using the Chimera "Web Data" facility.
> This
> allows programs to send commands to Chimera.  The intended use is for
> displaying models in Chimera when the user clicks a link in a web
> browser.
> It works by having the *.chimerax file associated with the link lauch
> helper application <chimera-install-location>/bin/chimera_send.
> The same mechanism allows any program to send commands to Chimera.
> The Chimera User's Guide describes this under Tools/Web Browser
> Configuration.
> Here's a URL:
> http://www.cgl.ucsf.edu/chimera/1.1951/docs/ContributedSoftware/webdata/
> chimerax.html
>   What you might do is have your web server create an appropriate
> *.chimerax that executes the user's commands and then prints the
> Chimera graphics window to a file.  The web server than sends the
> image (jpg) to the web client.  There is a bunch of somewhat tricky
> glue to make this work.  As previous posts mentioned, Chimera will
> need to pop up windows on some screen to render an image.  For the web
> server to know when Chimera has finished making an image, the
> *.chimerax file might end in a command that writes to some secondary
> status file after the image file is written.  That will tell the web
> server that the image is ready.
>   We haven't tried this.  And there are other pitfalls, like you are
> likely to run into trouble if the web server starts 2 instances of
> Chimera
> and then tries to dispatch commands with the chimera_send program.
>   Please let me know if you get this to work.  Feel free to send
> additional
> questions.
>     Tom
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